Yoruba Self-Determination groups, under the aegis of Ilana Omo Oodua, have faulted the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for describing efforts of those championing Yoruba nation as rabble-rousing.
The group explained that despite the support given to Akeredolu by Yorubas within and beyond the shores of Nigeria during herdsmen crisis, it was surprising that the governor could distance himself, alongside the state from the struggle.
The group, led by a renowned Professor of History, Banji Akintoye, described the threat issued by Akeredolu that Yoruba people that want self-determination should stay clear Ondo as misplaced priority.
Through a statement released to journalists on Tuesday, Akintoye alleged that Akeredolu belong to the league of tiny neo-classical elites who want business to continue as usual in Nigeria.
He, however, clarified that the agitation on behalf of Yoruba people was not plot for secession as erroneously branded by Akeredolu, but struggle for self-determination, warning that nothing the governor and his “oligarchic allies could do to stop an idea whose time has come”.
“We wish to say very clearly that Akeredolu is entitled to his opinion. He has only spoken for himself. If he is sure he speaks for the classical masses of Ondo State, he should ensure that his army of state-induced terrorists allow us to stage our one million march peacefully in Akure, Ondo State capital to prove whether he spoke for Ondo state people or for himself.
“Akeredolu feeds 100% on the commonwealth of Ondo State people. He is a member of the tiny neo-liberal and neo-classical elites who will never support the wishes and aspirations of the masses. We saw how he grandstands on the terrorists and murderous herdsmen illegally occupying the forest reserves in his state and we saw how he chickened out to the chagrin of all of us who staked our reputation to defend him.
“Akeredolu has now surrendered the farmlands in Ondo State to the government of Fulani herdsmen while masquerading to be participating in National Livestock Programme. He is a definition of a coward who starts a battle he cannot finish. We are aware he traded Ondo people off to avoid being sacked from office through the fulani-dominated Nigerian courts.
“We are saying for the sake of clarity that what we declared is the sovereignty of Yoruba Nation from Nigeria and not secession from Nigeria. We want an autonomous Yoruba Nation. We want to determine how we want to govern our people. We want to control and manage our resources. We want to police and secure the lives and properties of our people.
“We have made our position known. Our agitation for autonomous Yoruba Nation is legally grounded, intellectually rooted and it shall be executed without shedding of blood. Akeredolu cannot sit inside the comfort of his office and claimed to be speaking for the people of Ondo State that he has failed to regularly pay their monthly salary, pension and gratuities”, the statement, said.